Every tenth person owns the book “sayings of french switzerland

every tenth person owns the book 'sayings of french switzerland

Heinz buttner is still proud of having complied with the request of the school board at the beginning of the 1960s. He was given the task of collecting the stories of the district of ebermannstadt. The book “legends and stories from the district of ebermannstadt” was written, which was the basis for the “french switzerland book of legends”. This, in turn, has become a perennial favorite and is now in its tenth edition. A reason to celebrate and look back.

Heinz buttner turns 93 in july. He still remembers with pleasure the time when he was present in 1979 at the founding of the local history working group in sachsendorf near gobweinstein. The main task of this institution, which has been led since the beginning by hans weisel (75) from ebermannstadt, was the establishment of a local history library and the publication of local history writings. Since the then chairman of the french switzerland association (FSV), fritz preis, was familiar with the collection of legends written by buttner, he asked that the work begun for the district of ebermannstadt be extended to the whole of french switzerland. Buttner said yes.

However, it took several years of painstaking work and many visits to local historians in the villages, at that time mostly teachers like gunda rauh and hans lindner or curate adalbert hollfelder, before the work was completed. 25 years ago, the FSV book “legends and stories from french-speaking switzerland” was published for the first time in an edition of 2000 copies to the market.

“That was a time, hans weisel still today “in the books still gladly and much were bought”. The first edition was sold out after just one year and had to be reprinted. The tenth edition of the book is now available, and it is just as high quality and as heavy in content as the previous versions. Including the tenth edition, a total of 15 books have now been published.570 “saybooker have been printed. This, according to weisel, “at least ensures that the stories and legends live on in written form, but unfortunately they are no longer told.

For francophone switzerland, as a rural, sparsely populated area, the total circulation is quite a lot, with an estimated population of about 150,000 people. For this reason, a small celebration was recently held in heiligenstadt to mark the publication of the tenth edition. Hans weisel had invited and all those who had worked on the book had come: eva thiele, who created the drawings in the book and the meanwhile very well known title picture after an original by the spanish painter goya, the author heinz buttner, a trained teacher and in later years a passionate collector of prehistoric artefacts, and renate iilmann, the editor "who finds all the typos".

Weisel chatted to the small group about the "golden" ones start and the present worries and notes. The previous publisher, palm&enke, is no longer there, and the "in-house printing plant" has been replaced has merged and no longer has its own printing presses, so the working group will also have to look for a new printing company. Weisel mentioned that in the past, it was mainly the proceeds from book sales that financed further books.

Unfortunately, that is no longer the case today, he said regretfully, because fewer and fewer books are being bought. In addition, sales through bookstores are increasingly problematic, as they now demand up to 55 percent commission (formerly 30 percent) of the sales price. In the case of the book of legends, which has cost 15.50 euros from the beginning, this means that the "arbeitskreis heimatkunde" as publisher is currently "paying on top" by 35 cents for each book of legends sold through bookstores. Weisel rejects a price adjustment: "it has never happened before with the working group that a book price has been subsequently increased, although the high-quality book processing more than justified a price increase.

The joy over the successful work clearly outweighed the joy at the celebration. Like its predecessors, the book contains 580 stories and legends from the entire region on 470 thread-stitched glossy pages, plus 25 drawings by the cultural award winner eva thiele from oberailsfeld, an extensive index of places and names, and a solid color cover that makes the work a decorative piece on any bookshelf.

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